The Rioting Line
Updated: Jan 25
As you know I love soccer, but I was never really that great at soccer. When I was in high school, I barely lettered in my Senior year and spent the last 8-10 games on the bench. I wasn't a troublemaker, my confidence was just shot. I knew it and my coach knew it.
2 years after graduation, I was actually playing some pretty good soccer in the local Men's League, probably playing the best soccer of my life. My high school coach invited me to return to play in the alumni game and, in hindsight, I should have declined.
I was the last of the alumni to get onto field. As I quietly waited to be subbed into the game, the best player on the varsity team, Dave, who I played with when he was a sophomore, sat next to me. I gave him a simple smile and he leaned over and said "you're a loser. The first time you touch the ball, I'm putting you in the 5th row of the bleachers." Dave's teammates laughed at me.
Fast forward 5 minutes and the predictable High School offense was trying to set Dave up at the top of the penalty box. I lingered in the box, anticipating the cross. At soon as the ball skimmed across the grass, I broke in Dave's direction. The ball and I arrived at the same moment and Dave spun to the ground. Clean play on a 50/50 ball.
The problem is, Dave fell to the grass crying. His Dad sprinted onto the field before the ref stopped play. His Dad screamed at me that I ruined his son's trip to Europe, then everything was a blur....
For a split second, I was ready to fight Dave's Dad, a bunch of 16 year olds, and was ready to climb into the stands to fight parents who were booing me. It was go time.
Last May, George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis Police Officer who used unjustified lethal force on a citizen of the city that the Officer was sworn to protect. The images splashed across the internet within minutes and peaceful protests broke out almost immediately.
Within a day, protesters were blocking traffic and within 2 days, rioting and looting broke out at night. Media outlets like CNN focused on the daytime protests while omitting details of the nighttime carnage.
Throughout the month of June, protesters showed up to the personal homes of the Hennepan County Prosecutor, the Governor, and the Mayor of Minneapolis. As riots and unrest spread across the nation, statues were toppled in the Twin Cities and interstate traffic was blocked. Instead of quelling the unrest, local politicians like U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar stoked the embers in Minnesota. During the first month of the Minneapolis Riots, 2 people died, over a half a billion dollars in damage was done, there were over 100 arsons, and over 1,000 residences and business were damaged.
IN THE TWIN CITIES ALONE.
And everywhere I go, I keep running into the same argument: The George Floyd Riots were righteous and the Capitol Riots were sedition. "Hey stupid Fred Hunt, can't you tell the difference between Social Justice and a coup?"
I have been clear with this from the beginning. Due to social distancing, IN A PANDEMIC, there should have been no riots. PERIOD. But let's bypass that point for a moment. Once Derek Chauvin was arrested, the riots should have quelled. Instead they became a referendum on police brutality and the Defund the Police Movement exploded. Defunding the police is as radical on the left as to what happened at the Capitol is on the right.
Just because everyone you know wanted to defund the police, doesn't mean that America wanted to defund the police. 31% of Americans want to Defund the Police.
And inversely, just because you and all your red-hatted friends think that Donald Trump won the election, doesn't mean that Donald Trump actually won the election. (He didn't.) 36% of Americans thought that Donald Trump WON
So my problem with the Capitol Riot is very simple. Either everyone riots or no riots.
As a country, we need to decide if we are going to keep burning down our own cities and if we're going to keep breaking into Government buildings, or if everyone is going to calm the f%&k down. As a free speech website, I should have a poll: Do you think we should let everyone riot and just have it out in the streets? Maybe institute a Purge Day. I betchya around 30% of Americans would say let's just have at it.
If you're still screaming about social justice, I can diffuse your argument with one question:
How does burning down a Subway in Portland solve social injustice in Minneapolis?
When I saw that dude sitting at Nancy Pelosi's desk, I didn't start sweating, thinking that he was a modern day Che Guevara, I laughed out loud. Why did I laugh? Because that guy could have been my Father-in-Law. That guy wasn't re-installing Donald Trump as the President. He had no plan to overturn election results. He was a weekend warrior who should be charged with criminal trespass and rioting.
But the optics, to me, are a little different than what CNN is reporting. You know what else I see? I see that Nancy Pelosi doesn't care about rioting unless it affects her personally and the rioters don't believe in the same things that she does.
When the riots are in Portland, she's fine with that.
When the riots are for causes she believes in, she's fine with that.
When Cooter shows up and puts his feet up on her table, all of a sudden, there's an insurrection.
If the Capitol Riot happened in a vacuum, I would have been freaked out. But what is this, like the 100th? 150th major riot since George Floyd's death? I think that the average American is numb to all of the rioting over the past year.
Symbolically, the Capitol Riot was worse than all of the others, because it made America look like a Banana Republic. But it made me think, what is a person's rioting line? What makes a person leave their house and get ready to mix it up in 2020?
Then I realized that in my youth, I was no better than a Soccer Hooligan. I thought back to that day at the alumni game. Little did those twerps know that I was playing on a Men's League team with a reputation for brawling. In hindsight, what a poor way to be passing through your youth.
The Black Lives Matter movement is not the new Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement was about equal rights, BLM is about defunding the police. You cannot defund the police. Can you imagine Martin Luther King Jr. giving speeches during the day and then lighting up Molotov Cocktails at night. Can you imagine King saying "victory will be ours when the cops don't exist." Again reforming the police is fine, but BLM has the gall to ask: Why aren't the police protecting us a little better? At Defund the Police rallies.
For those who continue to spin the BLM creed, "it's about systemic racism," go ahead and join the system. Use that energy to make changes from the inside. Every single major metropolitan police department is hiring. Become a Minneapolis Police Officer and be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Here's the link. When is the last time that you heard that an urban police department had too many applications? It doesn't happen, that's part of the reason that departments hold onto "bad" cops for too long.
As for the Trump supporters who showed up at the Capitol. Do you know how stupid you look?
You look like babies. It is one thing to grumble about Trump's loss to your family and neighbors, it is a whole 'nother level of stupidity to drive across country and storm the Capitol in hopes that Magical Fairies would appear and re-instate your candidate as President. Nothing explains their actions except for mental illness. There wasn't enough voter fraud that would have overturned the election results.
Basically the far-right had a "hold my beer moment" and decided that they could riot better than their far-left wing counterparts. As disinformation wars rage across America, I am reminded that Rush Limbaugh used to say "there is no far right in America. All fringe groups are technically on the left." Why is that timely? Because twice this week, I read pundits condemn the Capitol Riots in this manner "there is no far left in America. All fringe groups are on the right."
Everyone has their line as to when it's go time in this country. I saw a video this week of a Mom getting punched in the face at the Capitol Riot. How did the media get the footage? The daughter, who wanted to go to a BLM rally, leaked it to the press. Family members arguing over which riots are okay to go to and which ones aren't. If Joe Biden takes office this week and bans ice cream, I believe next week we'll have the Ice Cream Riots. There's a cross section of Fat Americans who will riot over dairy treats....
I do not like Donald Trump, but banning him from Twitter is going to turn into a long term philosophical quandary for Jack Dorsey. What Twitter should have done is suspended Trump for a week or two for stoking the riots and then let everyone calm down once he was out of office. Now, based on Trump's permanent ban, Twitter has to ban Ilhan Omar based on her problematic support of the Minneapolis rioters.
I'm not just some crazy blogger saying this. Former Governor Mike Huckabee is effectively saying the same thing, if Trump is impeached for the Capitol Riots, Kamala Harris needs to be impeached for the actions of the rioters that infiltrated the "peaceful" Black Lives Matter unrest.
In a land of free speech, what are the legal prosecution lines? When Trump was banned from Twitter, many of his followers fled to Parler. When Parler was overrun with right-wing radicals, for all intensive purposes, Parler was de-platformed.
We don't like banning anyone's free speech, but if you're going to go down that road, you better ban speech on both sides of the aisle. Who's this magical neutral third party whom you can trust to sort out the culture wars? Facebook? Twitter? YouTube? Other than Parler, can you even name a right-leaning social media platform?
In hindsight, history will look poorly upon both the Police Defunders and the Trump Election Truthers.
Back to the Fall of 1989. Did I actually fight anyone? Of course I didn't. I evaluated my options and stopped myself from doing something I would regret on the field of my former high school. I was banned from the alumni game for 20 years for a fair tackle.
Years ago, a fine young man that I coached in the travel leagues became the coach of the High School team. He is now the winningest soccer coach in our school's history. A few years back, he reached out to me to participate again in the alumni game. I politely declined. I root for his team from afar.
If I saw Dave from high school pushing his Dad in a wheelchair at the local grocery, I would simply smile and nod. If he said "you're still a loser," I would knock over his Dad's wheelchair and fight Dave in the aisles.